Generation Gap: When & How to Connect

Real Estate Agent with Jefferson Properties 0225213983

Recently I overheard an agent complaining about receiving "robo-texts" requesting feedback just seconds after opening the door to a listed property.  It wasn't the inquiry or desired feedback that the agent objected to, it was the impersonal nature of the request.  The agent said he was happy to share his observations and ideas with the listing agent, but he would have appreciated a phone call.  This got me thinking about the generational differences in our field.

There is no doubt that generational differences exist in every profession, but the way in which we contend with them as real estate professionals can make or break a deal.  I read a great blog on Active Rain just the other day by a loan officer (@Maureen Martin) who cited reasons why Millennials are having trouble buying homes.  Maureen's blog related all the reasons potential buyers in their 20's and 30's are struggling to purchase homes (college loans, recession, finding steady jobs, etc).  As we conduct business with a gamut of age ranges, we have to consider the differences in generations who text everything  versus those who await traditional phone calls. Some want instant feedback from their agent and others want to meet and discuss things in person or over the phone.  Working with fellow agents requires the same consideration. I always want to provide optimal service to my clients and fellow real estate professionals in their preferred mode of communication, whether it be a quick text, personal phone call or handwritten note.  

I am somewhat sandwiched between the new, technologically savvy generation and those who prefer the personal touch; I'm happy to accommodate folks in the way that best serves their needs.  It's just something to think about as we are out there in the field, meeting potential buyers, or requesting feedback on a listing.  


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Comments (27)

Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Those follow up survey's post questions and answers that are often too limiting !

Sep 16, 2014 07:54 AM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

The reality is we are probably going to attract the type of buyers and sellers who are most comfortable with our preferred method of contact. My stepson is all about texting and Facebook. He is going to use an agent who does the same. I'm more about calling and email. The buyers and sellers who use me probably have a similar contact style. This doesn't mean that I never work with clients who text but the majority of my business comes from buyers and sellers who use my same communication style. I'm okay with that. I don't think I have to be all things to all buyers and sellers.

Sep 16, 2014 08:13 AM
Warren Schutt
Warren Schutt Real Estate - Danbury, CT
Helping People with Their Moves for over 40 Years

I was taught that a picture is worth a thousand words.

I am discovering that as I  negotiate and share buyer or seller needs and wants in an understandable way with my fellow realtors twenty-five words are worth a hundred text messages.


Sep 16, 2014 09:53 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

It's the automated showing request and I don't think it has anything to do with the generation gap.  Technology is technology.  But, the younger agents might wonder why they're not getting feedback if they haven't figured out how to call for it.

Sep 16, 2014 12:14 PM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I try to combine texting with calling and emailing. I like to have an email trail so that everyone knows where we started, why decisions were made and how things ended up.  So, I combine the customers style with my own preferences and it works very well.

Sep 16, 2014 12:19 PM
Claude Labbe
RLAH / @properties - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

Communication is key.  I don't much care how, as long as the client lets me know which way the prefer.  Methods, timing, whatever. It needs to be 2nd nature for them so they are comfortable with me.


Sep 16, 2014 12:46 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Jenn Hart, Richmond, VA, REALTOR®, 804-317-7997 - the rule is simple - talk their language. It's all about them, isn't it? (And sure, don't forget to add your personal touch!)

Sep 16, 2014 01:11 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Jenn - all of the three generations, boomers, x'ers, and millennials handle communication differently.  Finding out how that they to receive communication is a recommendation that I make.

Sep 16, 2014 01:14 PM
Josh Gidcumb
Keller Williams Realty - Champaign, IL
Real Estate - 217-202-0571, Champaign, IL

Good points. Thank you for sharing these points.

Sep 16, 2014 01:49 PM
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

It all depends on the customer and it is their choice. Some business relationships are better than others. 

Sep 16, 2014 03:41 PM
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate


I believe that we become more successful when we are able to quickly identify which communication style each of our clients prefers. And...I never give feedback, unless it's to the listing agent. If they aren't personally interested, why should I?


Sep 16, 2014 06:29 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

There is no question that in today's world of technology and innovation, that we have grown to want what we want and we want it now!  I think the cost has been the soft skills that come with a more personalized communication.  The good news is those that provide a more personalized approach almost have a niche market to themselves!

Sep 16, 2014 06:31 PM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

When we list a home we ask the sellers how they would like to communicate.  Our office offers text messaging from our staff as part of the package.  You have to change with the times!  

Sep 16, 2014 10:44 PM
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

I don't mind all the automated feedback requests, I get them for near every listing.  I don't mind texts either, sometimes they are more direct.  If someone calls I'll pick up the phone no problem.  

Sep 17, 2014 02:35 AM
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...

Hi Jenn ~ I love your profile story!  Your high school sweetheart, a golf pro, three daughters and a female lab! Scott has his hands full with so many women in the house for sure...  

Sep 17, 2014 04:33 AM
Melissa Stone
Lipply Real Estate - Trinity, FL
Sparkling Gulf Coast From Tampa to Clearwater

I do prefer the text right away, and I try to give feedback right away too while it's fresh on my mind.  When the listing agent calls me three days later and 10-20 properties later I won't remember as well why their's didn't work for the buyer I'm showing.

Sep 17, 2014 09:06 AM
Jeffrey Ditri
JAD Realty Group, LLC. - Manhattan, NY
New York City Residential Rental Specialist

Great post, thank you for sharing!

Sep 17, 2014 09:01 PM
Blatt + Cutino
Coldwell Banker Realty - Monterey, CA
Broker-Associate 831/206-8070*Call today*

I too and sandwiched in with the technology. I have a 25 year old and the best way for her is texting/messaging/fast and quick. On the other hand, some clients of course want a phone call or a visit to touch base.  I always ask my clients what is the best way to communicate with them...I recently had a very elderly client and surprised when she wanted to text!

Sep 17, 2014 09:47 PM
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Great post Jenn. It is certainly something we need to consider. It can be a real challenge too. We have to think first, who am I "talking" to and what is their preferred method of communication?

Sep 18, 2014 01:51 PM
Beth and Richard Witt
New York, NY
The best Retired Brokers !!!!

Welcome to the Rain and congratulations on a well deserved Feature post... Looking forward to seeing more of you... Beth

Sep 22, 2014 08:48 PM